Ready to go road trippin’? Nevada is the road trip capital of the country. And there is one stretch you don’t want to miss, Nevada’s Highway 95. One fantastic jaunt to consider is the Free-Range Art Highway, featuring ghost towns, open air galleries and beautifully-restored historic hotels.
If awesome art, wide open roads and weird wonderment get your gears turning, then Nevada’s Free-Range Art Highway is the blank canvas for your next adventure, one far out trip from Las Vegas to Reno. Watch the video above, or read the full transcription we’ve provided below. (lightly edited for clarity).
Historic Mining Town of Beatty
(00:17) – A little more than one and a half hours northwest of Las Vegas, you’ll find the historic mining town of Beatty. And the first stop on your road trip, Happy Burro Chili & Beer. This storied Sagebrush Saloon is a great place to beat the heat. Get a lay of the land in surrounding Death Valley National Park and swap stories with locals and roadtrippers, all while getting a taste of award-winning, homemade chili and ice cold beer.
(00:41) – Ready for a ghost story or two? Slip outside Beatty for a quick 10-minute ride to the most photographed ghost town in Nevada. Part of Beatty’s gold mining discoveries, Rhyolite ghost town was one of Southern Nevada’s celebrated boomtowns. The ruins are found around every corner, like the school, bank, jail and more.
(01:00) – Be sure to check out the Tom Kelly bottle house, the oldest, largest and most complete house made entirely of glass bottles in the country, along with Goldwell Open Air Museum‘s wild sculptures.
Ghosts of Goldfield
(01:10) – Cruise an hour on up to Goldfield for the night. Then, bed down at the Santa Fe Motel & Saloon that puts you in the heart of this living ghost town’s historic district.
(01:19) – In the morning, head to the International Car Forest on the southern edge of town to discover a junkyard of painted, planted vehicles. With freedom of expression and art in weird places, the car forest is a great place to get to know Nevada as a weirdest, wildest West.
(01:35) – In a place made famous by actual fields of gold-rich ore, learn about some of the most famous gold mines in Nevada and the West at Goldfield’s Florence Mine tour. The mine claim brought in $650,000 in gold, an amount that would be more than 44 million today. The historic Florence Mine has the only remaining hoist house in the once massive Goldfield mining district, which just so happens to be one of the best preserved mining relics in all of the Silver State.
(02:02) – Kick back for the night in historic opulence at the Lux Mitzvah Hotel, a place still swanky after more than 110 years. The Mitzvah as been part of the Tonopah story since the beginning, with air authentic chandeliers, antique cash registers, velour Victorian couches, and resident ghosts to prove it. Stay on the fifth floor, a favorite haunt of the Lady in Red ghost.
More of Nevada’s US 95
(02:24) – As your last stop on this Las Vegas to Tonopah portion of the Free-Range Art Highway, dig your own Nevada treasure at Otteson Brothers Turquoise mine tour. Sling your pickaxe into massive tailing piles with gems spanning the color spectrum, including robin’s egg blue, cerulean, indigo, and teals.
(02:41) – Best yet, you’ve only road tripped half the Free-Range Art Highway. Head up the road to Reno, or make the return trip to Vegas. No matter where the road carries you, follow your curiosities on and off Nevada’s eccentric slice of US 95.
For complete details on a trip, check out Travel Nevada for ideas of places to stay, eat, and explore along Highway 95.
And for more stores like this one, watch Creative Living, airing Sundays at 8:30pm, Mondays at 7:30pm, Thursdays at 8pm and Saturdays at 10pm.